It’s Library Card Sign-up Month!


September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL) joins with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure that our students have the most important school supply of all: a library card.

JMRL encourages parents to give their children this key to lifelong learning. Resources at the library are available to anyone who has a library card, no matter how young. Students can turn to the library for materials, programs and services that support academic achievement. In an effort to promote lifelong reading, the library system has also abolished overdue fines for children under the age of 16.

If you or your child has already received a library card and the card is currently lost or worn down, the library will be giving away free replacement cards throughout the month of September.

In addition to borrowing books, audiobooks, music and DVDs, library card holders also have free online access to databases containing thousands of newspaper and magazine articles, as well as other trusted and reliable information sources to help with homework or research. These databases can be accessed at

Using your library card, you can also download digital audiobooks, eBooks, and cover-to-cover magazines from the library’s website. Access these resources for free from

Before they start school – and after – children with library cards may also attend library programs such as storytime classes that encourage growth of motor, cognitive and pre-literacy skills.

Getting a library card is simple. Visit your local JMRL branch and fill out a short registration form. Be sure to bring an ID with your address or other proof of residence. Sign your child up for a library card today and see how it brings them into a world of opportunity.

You can Fax at the Library

Did you know that you can fax papers at the library? It only costs $1 per page and is available at each branch (international faxes are priced differently). You can also receive faxes at the library- incoming faxes are also just $1 per page.

Fax is short for facsimile and faxes work by sending an image over a phone network.

Here’s a short history of the fax machine:

The fax machine was invented before the telephone. Alexander Bain, a clockmaker, was most likely the first person to invent this technology. He managed to send an image over a wire, however, the quality was not great. He patented his idea on May 27, 1843.

Other forms of the fax machine were invented starting around 1865. But the Xerox Corporation is credited with inventing the modern fax machine. Today’s fax machines work by using a photo sensor to look at the paper it’s copying and sending. The photo sensor is able to see the difference between the light and dark areas. It then tells a computer processor how to reproduce the image at a distance location by encoding the information. The encoding is what enables the machine to send the information along by phone line or over the internet (JMRL uses dedicated phone lines to send a fax). At the receiving fax machine, the machine reads the encoded information and remakes the image.

In 1989 there were over 10 million fax machines in the world, today there aren’t quite that many, but they are still in heavy use. Here’s an article  from the BBC about why the fax machine is still used today, even with all of our technology.

Visit your local library branch the next time you need to send a fax!


JMRL staffer sending a fax

Delivering a Good Book with a Hot Meal


We are so excited to partner with our local chapter of Meals on Wheels! This fall, John Halliday, the Director of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library (JMRL), was approached by Leigh Tripp, the Executive Director of Meals on Wheels (MOW). She had heard of a partnership in another municipality in Virginia and wondered if we could create something similar. For the library, it was a natural fit for the Bookmobile branch.

Meals on Wheels serves hot meals to over 250 clients in the local area every day. They have an extensive network of volunteers who make the deliveries and have regular contact with the homebound folks. The idea was that they could deliver library materials along with the meals. MOW is very organized and has a solid structure in place; it was easy for us to fit right in.

JMRL’s job is to create accounts for the MOW clients and keep track of their reading preferences. MOW’s role is to deliver the books and pick up returns. Bookmobile staff stop by the MOW office on Fridays to pick up new applications and any returned books. We then process the materials and choose new items for the patrons. These get dropped off at the MOW office on Monday morning, to be delivered sometime during the week.

Word is getting out and the response has been very enthusiastic. We’re happy to be able to provide this service and offer many thanks to the hard-working MOW volunteers!